Khabib Nurmagomedov responds to Dana White’s claims he will come out of UFC retirement
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Khabib Nurmagomedov doubled down on his decision to quit the UFC as he responded to claims he could reverse his retirement.
Nurmagomedov quit the fight game last month after dominating Justin Gaethje to retain his lightweight world title.
The 32-year-old leaves the UFC as one of the sport's greats with a 29-0 record, after his win over Gaethje saw him named as the world's No.1 pound-for-pound fighter.
He cited the death of his father from coronavirus as the reason for his retirement, having promised his mother he would not fight any more.
But UFC president Dana White speculated that Nurmagomedov would be back, saying he believed the Russian would want to claim a 30th win before bowing out for good.
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But the retired fighter has hit back at White's claim, saying there is no-one left in the sport for him to fight.
"There will always be rumours about my comeback," Nurmagomedov told RT Sport. "Because Dana White or other promoters who could replace him in the future will always want me to fight.
"It's all about big money, views and media coverage, so I am sure they will keep chasing me.
"You have just finished one fight and fans right away start looking forward to your next one.
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"They always want the show to go on. But I have no plans to continue fighting.
"What if I fight one more time? They will have another contender for me who is on a 7-8 win streak. Another wrestler with great striking.
"They are very good at raising heroes, building up big stars – it's just a never-ending story."
Nurmagomedov said he could follow in the footsteps of his compatriot, mixed martial arts legend Fedor Emelianenko, who is still fighting at the age of 44.
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But he said he has achieved his aims in the sport – and with an estimated worth of $30million (£22m), he doesn't want to keep fighting just for financial reasons.
"Of course, I could possibly fight until I'm 40 – or even 45, like Fedor," he said. "But there must be a purpose to it, a goal.
"My goal was to reach the summit. I did it – so I don't see any competitive interest to stay in the game. Who else is there to fight for me? And even if there is one, my mission has been accomplished.
"Of course, I am in my prime and there is still tons of money I could earn. But I had a different goal. And as for money, from now on we will earn it somewhere else."
Dana White said he thought Nurmagomedov would return to chase a 30th victory
(Image: Getty Images)
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Asked last month whether he thought Nurmagomedov would return to UFC, White told Submission Radio: "Yeah, I do.
“I think that he’s not going to retire. I think, you know, his dad wanted him to get to 30-0. And, I think he wants to honor his dad’s wish.”
But Nurmagomedov's response seems to have made his feelings pretty clear.